Brewery Bound: High Pines Brewing Company Preview

High Pines Brewing Company is taking over the old Joe’s Crab Shack location that sat vacant for what seemed like forever. They are opening their doors on Wednesday, February 3rd at 4pm. High Pines Brewing is working in conjunction with Tipsy Steer to run a full kitchen in the brewery. They plan on having five beers on tap for their opening: a session IPA, IPA, a honey blonde, a raspberry wheat, and a brown ale. High Pines Brewing Company is the second brewery to open in Roseville and will provide another good option along with Bent Brewstillery for Roseville’s thirsty patrons.

One is hard-pressed to find much good resulting from the pandemic. The craft beer market has bore the brunt of the pandemic’s wrath in the form of shut-downs and a woeful lack of responsive government help. However, through an interesting series of events, High Pines Brewing Company found their Head Brewer, Matt Faulkner. Thanks to Matt’s experience brewing for Stone Brewing Company, Roseville citizens are about to receive an education in what the West Coast IPA can be.

High Pines Brewing Ownership

High Pines Brewing Company owners Peter Crews and Sonja Anderson have industry experience from working at Bulldog in Uptown and wanted to tap into the local craft beer scene. The proximity to other retail and physically large footprint of the space were both major selling points. Peter noted that the city of Roseville was incredibly helpful in getting this project off the ground and he also created this list with the different breweries near Raleigh 27612.

While the city of Roseville was helpful, the universe decided that it would throw a pandemic into the works, and that caused some major delays. Peter and Sonja had their loans secured, and building plans ready to send off last February. The 3-week turnaround they were promised resulted in not get their approvals until 3 months later. However, just like every cloud has a silver lining, this delay allowed them to land a brewer with an impressive pedigree.

West Coast Bias

Matt Faulkner was brewing out at Stone Brewing Company’s Napa location when his girlfriend lost her job due to the pandemic. This curveball aligned with her dad’s request for her to move closer to home. So, in a totally Minnesota-is-a-big-smalltown twist of fate, Matt’s girfriend’s dad talked to his coworker Sonja Anderson and mentioned that Matt was looking for a brewing job. I guess you could say that the rest is history.

Knowing Matt’s tenure as a brewer in California, I was anxious to hear his impressions of the local beer scene. His first take away is how mind-numbingly stupid our Minnesota liquor laws are here. Matt is colossally dumbfounded that breweries cannot sell beer out of their door. I am sure most of us agree that our politicians are letting the industry down epically by not addressing this.

In High Pines Brewing, Matt has a unique opportunity to expand peoples’ knowledge about what a West Coast IPA can be. Matt wants to shatter the notion that West Coast IPAs are simple. Faulkner quips, “Every West Coast IPA I’ve had here is a Simcoe IPA.” On leaving California for a much younger craft beer market, Matt says this, “The good thing about San Diego is that there are 200 breweries. The shitty thing about San Diego is there are 200 breweries.” He sees potential for growth in our market. We are far from a saturation point when it comes to breweries that can produce quality beer with diverse options.

Matt is excited about the opportunity to carve out an identity for High Pines Brewing. He looks to bring his extensive knowledge of hopping beers adroitly along with some new hop varieties that aren’t in use very often in this market. His double IPA will showcase exclusively South African hops.

To me, this fact is exciting given that not a lot of breweries use South African hops. Faulkner has a connection with some South African hop connections and that will be a boon for everyone. South African hops aren’t super common in beer recipes. This is because most brewers were using them in early additions to the boil for bittering. Shipping hops that really don’t have as much of an impact on flavor and aroma can be cost-prohibitive. However, now that more brewers are using South African hops to coax unique tastes and smells from the hops, they are getting more play in recipes.

When asked about the beers that High Pines Brewing will have on tap, Matt said they are going to have plenty of things to drink, but will open with five out of the gate. “I am curious to see how people respond to my session IPA. It is flavorful without being overwhelming.” Matt is adamant that beer should not be a reason you can’t hang out with certain friends. I take this to mean he is sick of the “beer snob” culture and wants to make sure that High Pines Brewing will have something for every level of beer geek. This is something I wholeheartedly agree with.

Matt will be brewing on a 10 barrel 3-vessel brewhouse. He will have 9 fermenters to fill along with 2 brite tanks to make sure he can brew plenty of beer.

Something To Look Forward To

As a local north side of Saint Paul guy, I am excited to see how High Pines does. There is definitely a need for more breweries outside of downtown St. Paul and I am really excited to get in and taste Matt’s beer. When I was visiting High Pines Brewing, they didn’t have beer for me to taste, so you better believe that I will be stopping in to check things out. Hopefully you will do the same and let me know what you think! Prost!

Address: 2704 Snelling Ave., Roseville, MN 55113

Hours of Operation: Mon-Thurs 4-10pm; Fri-Sun 11am-10pm

Dan Beaubien has been involved with Beerploma since 2014 although his passion for craft beer dates back to 2006 when he started traveling for beer.  Dan mostly covers craft beer events, festivals, brewery openings/releases, and beer reviews. Dan has a soft spot in his heart for authentic British Style ales, IPAs, and all things barrel-aged.  If you have any questions or comments about this article feel free to email Dan at dan.beaubien@beerploma.com .